The Pennsylvania Helicopter Aquatic Rescue Team (PA-HART) in the US recently took part in a complex search and rescue land exercise, with more than 50 civilian and military personnel gathering at Gilbert Airfield in York, Pennsylvania for the exercise.
The exercise used one CH-47F Chinook, three UH-60 A/L Black Hawks and one LUH-72 Lakota helicopter to simulate search and rescue operations to hoist simulated patients and rescue divers/technicians.
“The primary goal is to conduct realistic search and rescue operations training safely," said Ryan Walt, programme manager for PA-HART and Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission Swift Water Rescue Program. "Our main focus is to conduct training iterations proficiently and mitigate risk to participants.”
PA-HART is a joint multi-agency partnership between the Pennsylvania Army National Guard (PAARNG), the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC), the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) and credentialed civilian expert rescue specialists. The partnership’s air-ground team are trained to respond to natural and man-made disaster incidents. The initiative mirrors the National Incident Management System (NIMS).
"The joint planning makes such training appear seamless and simple, but it is the unique team we have that allows us execute training safely that will save time, money and most importantly lives when we get [the] actual call to go,” said Lt Col. Michael Girvin, Commander of the 2-104th General Support Aviation Battalion (GSAB).